In an effort to avoid accusations of racist recipes, British chef Jamie Oliver has knelt before the mob by hiring “cultural appropriation specialists” to examine his cookbooks.
Oliver said he “didn’t want to offend anyone” in a recent sunday culture magazine interview about the move, as reported by the daily mail.
In the interview, Oliver said that his 2012 Indian-inspired Empire Roast Chicken recipe “would probably not be acceptable today despite being a ‘good recipe.'”
The celebrity chef, best known for his BBC cooking show “Naked Chef” and “Jamie’s Food Revolution,” highlighted the prevalence of obesity, heart disease and diabetes in the US by exposing the unfortunate status of meals served in American schools. coffee shops.
The Revolution Cookbook aims to equip ordinary people to cook “simple, delicious and affordable meals”. The married father of four is also an advocate against childhood obesity.
His extensive cookbook series includes “world” recipes such as Mexican, Italian, Moroccan, Indian, Greek, American, Asian, Spanish, Chinese, Peruvian, and French.
Oliver’s “Punchy Jerk Rice” was met with criticism in 2018 by the UK Labor Party’s then shadow minister for equality and women, Dawn Butler.
Butler questioned whether Oliver knew what “#Jamaican #jerk” was.
“It’s not just a word you put before things to sell products,” Butler tweeted.
“Your idiot Rice is not well. This takeover of Jamaica must stop.”
According to a blog on the Solid Ground website, “Cultural appropriation is when a dominant culture adopts the cultural mores of a non-dominant culture without understanding or respecting the original culture and context.”
Such appropriation can be seen as “white chefs selling burritos, profiting through financial and social capital, with no benefit to the communities that contributed to food culture in the first place, ‘Asian-inspired’ menus in restaurants, or white bloggers posting ‘healthy soul’. recipes.”
“We believe that food work that ignores the intersections of racism and culture can do more harm than good,” the blog said.
The hire apparently came from the Jamie Oliver Group website, replete with diversity, equity, and inclusion language.
“We strive to create an open and welcoming environment, where we celebrate the fact that we are all different and treat each other with dignity and respect,” says a statement on the site.
“To ensure that inclusion and diversity are a consideration in everything we do, we have inclusion and diversity leaders on our senior management team and an inclusion and diversity council with representatives from across the business serving as a sounding board. to ensure the participation of employees in our agenda. and actions.”
The website also noted the group’s commitment to gender equality.
“More than half of our senior management team is made up of women.”
Even though his UK restaurant chain collapsed into insolvency in 2019, Oliver kept his Canadian restaurants in Mississauga and Toronto.
Amber Gosselin is a reporter for Western Standard.